Game days are a huge part of the Oklahoma culture and one game in particular brings out the crazy in all of us, the RED RIVER RIVALRY. Die hard fans from the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas meet in the middle – Big D, where everything is bigger – including corn dogs and hangovers. The DDG has made this epic journey a few times and in spite of not going this year, we’re willing to highlight the madness through diabetes eyes.
Last year, the DDG rolled out a post, 5 Disturbing Diabetes Observations From The State Fair, where we shared a few common observations. Fried gummy bears, sweet tea by the jug and more hotdog stands than healthy people. Well, I sucked it up and ventured back to this land of all things unhealthy to see if 2015 was a better year on the State Fair front. I went in somewhat skeptical, but with a glimpse of hope…
My mother and I headed out on a Tuesday morning with a short list of things we wanted to see.
Stroll the Arts & Crafts Expedition
Locate a friend’s tree and landscaping booth
Visit the Beer Garden (this was more my idea than hers)
As we attempted to navigate our way to the arts & crafts building, I shared my thoughts on what poor choices the fair was offering their guests. It was like ground hog’s day circling the fair grounds. Every aisle or whatever you call it had at least 10 fried options (gummy bears, ice cream, cookie dough and even butter), sweet tea, Pina Coladas, hot dogs, corn dogs BBQ, cheap – oversized beer cans and turkey legs the size of small child. Continue reading →
Going back to school can be a bummer for everyone, but adding a “disability” to the mix throws in an additional layer of stress and anxiety. Today, I recap different stages in my life where diabetes reared it’s head and how I dealt with the highs and lows during this treacherous time of insecurity and adolescence. I’m breaking it down and sharing a few coping mechanisms I only realized as an adult.
Elementary School – My homies and fellow Girl Scouts knew what was going on. That didn’t make it any easier per say, but at least the cat was out of the bag.
I allowed adults to help out. I busted my first bottle of insulin during this particular Girl Scout camp. I was mortified, but everyone rallied and we scored another bottle so I could be a part of the camping on a concrete platform experience.
I kept snacks in my desk and have shared how to handle bullying in Cheez-It Trauma.
I took my lunch… I was even “particular” at an early age. This allowed me to have healthier options while not feeling weird about not consuming the hamburger, fries, fruit cup and milk option. (What were they thinking???)
I want to make it clear from the start – I’ve never taken a hallucinogen, or at least not that I can remember. I may not have enough street cred for this post to be valid, but after a rough morning battling my BG, I felt compelled to articulate a serious low blood sugar. For some reason – LSD came to mind. I’ll begin by describing this low BG experience so you can better understand.
As I’m laying in bed, the mattress seems to be hugging me with a deep embrace. I feel loved and calm – nothing could remove me from this pleasant slumber. My mind begins to wonder and my thoughts are powerful, colorful and ever probing into the darkest parts of my brain. Continue reading →
This short & sweet post is 100% dedicated to Liam as he and his family celebrate his FIRST T1D, diagnosis day anniversary. I’m aware that not every T1D chooses to embrace this special day, but about 7 years ago I chose to change my tune and truly hope you will consider doing the same.
Please shoot some +++ thoughts, prayers, messages, etc. for Liam and his family in the comment box below or on the DDG Facebook page. Every message helps, so don’t be shy!
WOOHOO – We’re rolling into the holiday weekend! As PWDs are packing their suitcases full of supplies for the road trip to the lake – don’t forget how easy it is to become a shitshow at a pool party or in-laws lake house. Speaking from experience, I want to save you some embarrassment so I’ve put together a list of things you can do to prevent being the crazy “intoxicated/low BG” person at the 4th of July picnic.
Don’t set yourself on fire – The low BG person might feel like a super hero and insist on lighting the $2,300 mountain of explosives. Check you BG before you set the neighborhood on fire. Continue reading →
At the age of 13, did an event define your career path? For Kelly, it happened. A PWD–the importance of using this term instead of a diabetic was discussed, too–he now counsels patients with diabetes on a daily basis as part of a diabetes clinic. His real perspective for patients is invaluable. He relates to the ineffectiveness of the 15–wait–15 rule. He understands what it’s like to do something you regret when low or high. He’s been in that spot, where no matter how much insulin you dial up, your blood just won’t come down. He can empathize.
We discussed how he became a diabetes health professional, his top advice, his approach to patients, the importance of the diabetes online community, and the story behind how he received his diabetes diagnosis, from a football coach. Kelly joined the DDG team over in Amber’s living room, on a sweltering Oklahoma summer day. Continue reading →
The older I get, the less concerned I seem to be as to what others think when I start my order with, “I’m a little high maintenance“. I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes over 30 years ago and things were very different. I was given strict instructions by the dietician – NO sugar and limit yourself to 2 TAB colas a day – yes, I said TAB (the only diet soda at the time). At age 14, after reading a terrifying book about animal welfare in stockyards, I cut out red meat and pork. Was that the turning point for my high maintenance ways???
Fast forward to 2015 – and the list of what I won’t eat has skyrocketed. I won’t bore you with the list and the background for each item, but my recent journey to Quartz Mountain made me question – were my special requests diabetes related or am I just high maintenance? Continue reading →
Last night I returned home from the Oklahoma Symposium and am happy to report my diabetes didn’t slow me down. The weekend was packed with panels, lectures and networking – not to mention a beer tasting and nightly cocktail hour. In years past this eventful weekend has been a bit of challenge, but this year I took charge. I’m happy to report three shifts in thinking that proved smoother sailing when navigating uncharted food territory.
1. Don’t be afraid to express your dietary needs.
The Saturday evening meal looked wonderful, but happen to be a filet so I was served the other option – white pasta w/red sauce and sautéed carrots. No thank you! I asked the server if the kitchen would be kind enough to whip together a grilled chicken breast and some steamed broccoli. After speaking with three servers and the chef, I was served exactly what I requested. YAY ME!
We admire and respect what Trae Carson and Jonathan Stapleton are crafting over at 405 Brewing, Norman’s first microbrewery. As people with diabetes, we were curious about the brewing process, the carbs, and, well, the taste of their Spring Stout. On all fronts, they did not disappoint. We talked about why carbs aren’t on the outside of most beer bottles. They helped Ryan unravel the mysterious effects of different beers on his blood sugar. We dug up carbohydrate counts on Guinness, Bud Light, IPAs, stouts, and lagers. We even got into the science behind alcohol’s interaction with the liver and how it causes the eventual plummeting of blood sugar. For all of those folks who love good weather and a drink to go with that occasion, this podcast was for you. Enjoy.
Spring has sprung so it’s time to ditch the tights & cardigans and pull out the summer attire. For the average person, it’s probably not a concern, but for me this time of year brings on a little anxiety. I give injections so there is somewhat of a battle field of bruises on my arms and thighs. This made me think – has diabetes altered my sense of style?
Shorts – I don’t wear them and probably haven’t since high school. Bruises on my thighs don’t look too hot, but a good tan does help camouflage them.
Let’s talk about Spring Break. I can feel it. I know you can too. It’s starting to warm up. Winter is fading away, well, for me because I live in Oklahoma, not Minnesota, and it’s trip taking time. Spring break is doable with diabetes. No doubt. Being out of college, I now look back fondly on the naivety of previous trips, filled with great memories and great luck. That being just said, here are my tips on how to not only survive spring break, but make it one for the ages.
Bring your glucagon kit
You know that red thing with a prescription label on it, probably in the back of your fridge? Either grab it, or pick up a new one at the pharmacy because that one in the fridge expired 3 years ago. Continue reading →
Last night marked a celebration of sorts for the plant-based community and Chipotle–the masses were duped into eating tofu. Chipotle ran a promotion for a free burrito later, if you first bought their new plant-based, vegan option called sofritas, basically spicy tofu.
I was on pins and needles. During class, I daydreamed of tofu. While on the bike, my friend Michael had to listen to me imagining a widespread, vegetable takeover of the OKC metro. Then, we got to Chipotle. Continue reading →
I’m NOT a parent and after my behavior today, it might be a good thing. My sister and nephew are in town and I made a point to have quality one-on-one time with Greg (a.k.a Grandpa Henry). GP Henry is four and 100% boy – fearless, somewhat stubborn and off the charts a cutie pie. We like to sing songs, eat vitamin C organic lollipops and solve the world’s problems.
During our recent adventure on a playdate with Sara and her daughter Stella, I had my first T1D “wait a second” experience. The kids were loud, jumping on things and doing what any active three and four year old would be doing. While sitting there watching the little ones, I found myself festering. WTF???? The day started a little rocky so I was contributing my lack of tolerance to the previous days events. I should be happy, patient and over the moon about my quality time… I sprang up and told Sara I was headed downstairs to test my blood sugar. Continue reading →
Last week I was introduced to a fellow health conscience site ALOHA, and challenged to share a healthy and tasty dish I would bring to my next party. Game on! They have an amazing recipe page with loads of healthy ideas, so my recent discovery of The Oh How She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon was serendipitous. I cracked it open and was stoked to prepare my first meal, Portobello Fajitas. As many of you know, I’m not much of a rule follower so I tweaked the recipe a bit, BUT as a planner (it’s the T1D in me), I’m always looking for meals I can eat over the course of a few days. This recipe was a no brainer – I could have breakfast, lunch and dinner options using the portobello fajita “meat”. I hope you enjoy my newest culinary discovery and feel confident fine tuning it to meet your upcoming party needs.
<link=”0040FF”> It’s official. DiabetesDailyGrind has a podcast! If you’re familiar with the content offered over on our pages, you’ll understand what’s coming in a podcast. Real support! The first podcast gives an intro to the passion behind the DDG and what lies ahead for the show.
As I’ve recently posted about diabetes related, travel debacles, I wanted to start your Monday morning with a positive travel experience. I’m not bragging, but I’m lucky enough to visit dear friends each January in San Antonio who own what used to be called a “bed & breakfast”. King William Manor no longer serves breakfast, but Craig & Alison are a wealth of knowledge as to local places to visit depending on our preferred diet. They listen and sincerely care about your health problems or restricted dietary needs and offer a variety of options within walking distance. Should you not want to walk you can rent a bike or grab a pedicab. For those of you who travel – you NEED to make the King William Manor a future travel destination.
New restaurants and shops are popping up all the time in this historic arts district, but there are a few local venues you don’t want to miss. Continue reading →
As a T1D who loves to travel, I was recently reminded how diabetes is a part of every waking moment of my life before heading South for my birthday extravaganza. Most folks just throw clothes in a bag, grab some cash and hit the road. That is NOT the case for a diabetic. I’m a planner so the diabetes related thoughts start flooding my consciousness about a week or so prior to leaving.
This bowl delivers just what everyone wants after a month full of stuffing, fudge, turkey, and pie–an explosion of taste not involving sugar or butter. It’s quick, incredibly nutrient-rich, and full of the slow-digesting, fiber-rich carbs. Perfect for a New Years Eve party or family get-together, try out this recipe from The Engine 2 Diet. Continue reading →
Picture this. You walk into a party, feeling like you own the place. You’re witty. You’re striking up conversations like Jimmy Fallon. Then, paranoia hits you. Thoughts like these flood your mind — “Why did I wear this? This looks ridiculous. Why am I even here? Should I just go home?” Before this runaway train fueled by low blood sugar sends you off into self-loathing, let’s get you back on track. Follow these tips to salvage evenings, meetings, and conversations while in the hypoglycemic zone.
Don’t be afraid to let people know that you’re low.
This seems relatively straight-forward but then again, is anything straight-forward when low? Even if you just met this person or group, say something like this, “Excuse me, but I have diabetes and could use some sugar. Would you mind if I stepped away for a moment to find some?” This is fairly formal. For the more informal scenario, go with this, “I can barely understand what I’m saying, nevertheless what you’re saying. I’m going to find something to eat or drink.” Ignore the paleo guy in the background telling you that carbs are bad for you. Continue reading →
Prepare your self for your newest addiction – the Diabetes Daily Grind theme song written by Mike Hosty who is known for his chart topper, “Oklahoma Breakdown”, the Number One Song on the Texas Music Charts for April 2007 and for the entire year! He was kind enough to write a song for us that wraps up our inspiration for starting the DDG. We hope you enjoy.
A little history – I met Michael Hosty over twenty years ago when I was working at a local music studio. It was the summer of 1994 and I was an awkward teenager and he was a hairy guy who played in a band I wasn’t old enough to see live. We became friends as I forced him to read stories from Chicken Soup For the Soul. We shed tears that summer over sappy stories and have been friends ever since.
I recently approached him about writing a song for me about diabetes and he didn’t think twice. In addition to the being a famous song writer, he’s a local legend and often travels the states playing with Mike Byars in the Hosty Duo.
We hope you enjoy the song – I am willing to bet you’ll find yourself singing it in the shower, in your car or in your head during the day.
The DDG is getting personal – How is your sex life and does diabetes make things difficult between the sheets? As PWDs, we’re flooded with all things doom and gloom concerning possible complications due to this ridiculous disease. I came across an article that brought to light the “worst case scenarios” diabetes can bring into the bedroom. I’m saving you some awkward research by listing a few articles with cliff notes addressing what PWDs might face when they decide to jump in the sack.
How does this whole diabetes thing play out when we date people? Do we address it early? Do we conceal it for several months? It can be complicated. It certainly weighs heavily on the minds of many an insulin-dependendent. Hopefully the next four tips will shed some light on the diabetes dating scenario.
1) On a first date or encounter, avoid the cliche “I should probably tell you something” line.
You don’t have kids (well maybe you do) or a sexually transmitted disease (well… yeah, my apologies if you do). Don’t make a big deal out of it. Let it come up naturally–like when your CGM wakes them up at 3AM. Continue reading →
Last Friday night, Halloween, marked the opening of a new era in my life–going out with continuous glucose monitoring. Some may say So what? Big deal. I’d respond with Have you ever tested your blood sugar at the bar? Try remembering to test your blood sugar at the bar.Continue reading →
I want to start by saying this post is filled with curse words and real emotions, so if you are easily offended – STOP reading now. This photograph sums up my thoughts on how I feel about diabetes. My weekend was a shitshow of highs and lows and I DID NOT consume a single piece of fucking candy. I’ve created a timeline of events so you can understand how everything diabetes worked against me.
11am – Have an incredibly stressful meeting where I could feel my blood pressure rise. I acted calmly and only broke down in the privacy of my office. Heated discussions soon followed and I took the rest of the afternoon to fester.
Happy Glorious Game Day Saturday. I just had a wonderful time watching OU dominate Iowa State and struck up an interesting conversation – healthy pumpkin doughnuts. My dear friend Pam had a gaggle of children spend the night and they sprung out of bed this morning to make pumpkin doughnuts. How festive! Pam being the rational adult considered the previous evenings consumption of all things sugar and Halloween so she picked a healthy, yet delicious recipe to start the day – which also serves as an easy way to sneak in a vegetable.
The past couple of months have been an absolute whirlwind of events leading up to the Grand Opening of my baby, Dreamer Concepts: A Community Art Space. My close friends and family, for the most part, know how to handle me in times of utter chaos by subtlety bringing or offering to bring me food. I often refuse for some odd reason because I’m kind of a meal planning nazi, but after hearing the the word, “hangry” more than once I throw in the towel and allow others to help me.
This new adventure brought on something I had never consciously recognized until meeting Ryan Fightmaster. In a conversation earlier in the week, I mentioned I didn’t have to give a single unit of insulin throughout the day while still consuming plenty of food (fruit, veggies, protein and a few carbs here and there). I immediately think of my hormones. I won’t freak you out by talking about my period, but this is a huge factor as to when my blood sugar starts to go crazy. I contribute the constant low to the insane amount of adrenaline and not taking a moment to actually slow my mind or body down for more than 4 minutes. I literally ate while walking around delegating tasks.
It’s 38 minutes until kickoff for the biggest game of the year in college football, the Red River Rivalry. Most of us began celebrating this glorious game day weekend last night and are now regretting that last glass of wine, but the adrenaline kicks in so I scrape myself together with thoughts of OU dominating Texas. First item up – BLOODY MARY.
As a T1D, a moment doesn’t go by where I don’t think about what I’m putting into my body and how it’s going to effect me. Bloody Marys are pretty standard, vodka and bloody mary mix, salted rim and something pickled. Well, I’ve put a healthy spin on this delicious beverage.
Halloween is just around the corner and I’m willing to bet you’re scrambling to find the PERFECT costume and need to stock up on all things sugar. Even though this particular holiday is a T1Ds worst nightmare, we want to remind you that your online purchase via DiabetesDailyGrind.com could throw a couple $$$ back our way. We’re all about making your life easier so this friendly reminder should light a fire… you don’t want to be the laughing stock of the party or the house on the block handing out oranges.
Start Shopping – Amazon.com. For future purchases, you can always click on DDG’s banner ad running along the right side of this page. Each time you buy, we get some spare change back to keep this site afloat!
A few years ago my dear friend and owner of Native Roots Market created a crockpot challenge to benefit Dreamer Concepts: A Community Art Space. The event was a total blast and everyone was fighting for the top prize – CREAM OF THE CROCK! There were four categories: Meat Entree, Vegetarian/Vegan Entree, Dessert and Vegan Dessert. The rules are fierce and were not to be taken lightly.
1. The entire dish must be cooked in the Crock Pot, only in the Crock Pot, and stay in the Crock Pot.
2. Fill the Crock at least 3/4 full. The more people who get to taste your dish, the more votes you can get.
3. You don’t have to disclose your secret recipe, but please list your ingredients so we don’t have any allergy mishaps.
4. Contestants should arrive with their fully-cooked Crock Pot by 6:30 PM for set-up & pre-judging.
As the Executive Director of Dreamer Concepts, I couldn’t go down without a fight. After weeks of crockpot research, I found what I believed could take home the gold, Chicken with Macaroni and Smoked Gouda Cheese. HEAVEN!
The DDG was recently out and about at a September institution: The Oklahoma State Fair. Amber took in the sights during a weekend afternoon and Ryan reveled in the Friday night lights. What we saw, well, isn’t all that surprising I suppose–all things fried, parents spanking in public, and 14 year olds smoking cigarettes. All that being said, only judgment through diabetic eyes was passed. Here’s our list of the most disturbing observations from the fair:
#1 – Deep Fried Gummy Bears
Do you really need to deep fry something that is already so unhealthy? What joy does a deep friend gummy bear bring to someone? Wouldn’t they taste better normally? Please explain.
#2 – Corn Dog Stands
While making an hour long lap around the fair grounds, I counted 18 corn dog stands. Do we really need that many options for battered, fried meat on a stick?
The DDG is thankful to partner with local organizations that make a difference on the healthy living front. I hope you check out Food For Thought Learning Institute, who teach vulnerable members of the community basic kitchen safety, nutritional information and food preparation skills needed to overcome hunger in their homes. They whipped a diabetic friendly bread pudding recipe for us. Hope you enjoy.
Anyone associated with diabetes knows what a test strip looks like because they are everywhere and seem to pop up in every nook and cranny. The DDG documented a few recent sitings and would like to challenge others to participate by sharing their photos. If you locate one of your own pieces of blood-spattered plastic in an unorthodox location, share it with us! Post your photo to Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook using the #stripsearch. The award for Most Outstanding #stripsearch location will be announced next Monday. Start the search!
I’ve been pool side or in the ocean for a good part of the summer. Life is good. Last weekend, I was hanging with my women’s group (think book club with no books) in one of their pools and after four hours of sun bathing, fruit and cocktails, we moved to the hot tub. As most PWDs know, the hot tub is a taboo area in our world. I love the bubbly hot water and can’t help myself. While relaxing the muscles in somewhat steamy water, I happened to notice my wrinkly digits. They’re never pretty, but my tips seemed to be more frightening than the others. Upon close inspection, we realized my calloused fingers were not from working in the yard or weight lifting…. it was a war zone of finger pricks!
Over this discourse, I am going to rationalize why it’s okay for folks with diabetes to use the disease to pick up a love interest. Some would label these tactics as exploitation—I see it as using your resources wisely. I’m completely cool with using up karma from previous suffering (Reference here, here, and here) At the end of the day, don’t we all just want to be interesting? Given that diabetics usually carry, at any given moment, syringes, a portable IV-like machine, sugar tabs, and sharp things, we are incredibly interesting! Plus, it allows us to be vulnerable right off the bat. Not many can achieve that. These methods, while rather crude, have been tried and tested in many situations during high school, college, and early adulthood. Continue reading →
Mid-august has arrived. Summer is holding on for dear-life. The chance for one last adventure looms. Us Oklahomans just spent a week on the Carolina coast, a place unfamiliar to the land-locked. Sun was had, drinks were guzzled, laughs were aplenty, and diabetes subtly influenced it all.
While out by the water, mostly drowning in an attempt to body-surf, we came up with 6 sure-fire ways to live it up on the beach with insulin-dependence: Continue reading →
The DDG has officially embarked on our first road trip. We set out for Emerald Isle, North Carolina somewhat early last Sunday. Ryan’s car was packed to the rooftop with Amber’s ridiculous luggage (ample amount of clothing and shoes for any social situation) and Ryan’s athletic crap (bike, camping gear, etc.) The one thing that both DDG’ers combined their efforts on included groceries, LOTS of groceries. We packed fresh fruit & veggies, nuts, trail mix, blue corn chips, salsa, hummus, some weird vegan stuff , cashew butter, good beer and red wine. North Carolina here we come!!! Continue reading →
Low blood sugar makes people crazy. Even normal people understand this concept of being “hangry”. When there is no standard, low BG relief available (Gatorade, granola bars, OJ), the hunter-gatherer in us appears.
Here’s the list of the Top 5 Craziest Foods ever consumed while low by The Grind: Continue reading →